Honor, honesty, integrity, ethics—words that mean nothing in a universe of corruption. Words that have been co-opted by vague idealists who hide behind them.
No matter what systems and organizations people build, there is always the question of how many honest individuals are in positions of power—and that question is crucial, to say the least.
I can’t count the number of scandals I’ve written about over the past 35 years. Nor can I count the number of times I’ve referred to The Individual as the bedrock of society.
There is an illusion that the future is shaped by collectives, that we live in a planetary collective, but the truth is, individuals are still at the center of things. Failing to focus on, and elevate the importance of, the individual leads to dire consequences.
The failure of education (at home and in schools) to take up issues of individual freedom, power, and responsibility opens the door to unaccountable corruption. There is no way around it.
How many colleges in the world teach courses that truly explore individual freedom, responsibility, power, creativity, and ethics as a single whole? How many teachers, even if permitted, would be able to lead students through such a course without the usual empty platitudes and academic fiddle-faddle?
The obvious answers to these questions reveal a gaping hole in society and civilization, a hole that most people don’t notice, because they’ve been trained to look away from it.
This time I’m taking a look at India, and a gigantic “institutional” scandal many readers have never heard of.
The Washington Post July 5, 2015: GWALIOR, India — “Nobody knows exactly when or why the witnesses and small-time crooks caught up in one of India’s biggest-ever corruption scandals began dying under mysterious circumstances. But in the past two years, that’s what’s happened to more than two dozen people implicated in a $1 billion test-rigging scheme.”
“Even by standards in India, where corruption is routine, the scale of the scam in the central state of Madhya Pradesh is mind-boggling. Police say that since 2007, tens of thousands of students and job aspirants have paid hefty bribes to middlemen, bureaucrats and politicians to rig test results for medical schools and government jobs.”
“So far, 1,930 people have been arrested and more than 500 are on the run. Hundreds of medical students are in prison — along with several bureaucrats and the state’s education minister. Even the governor has been implicated.”
“Police have had their hands full racing to meet a July deadline in the criminal probe. And now they are faced with the deaths of more witnesses and suspects. In the past week, police said, one of those accused died after having chest pains in prison, another drowned in a village pond and a third died of a liver infection.”
“On Saturday, television reporter Akshay Singh died while investigating a suspect’s death. Singh sipped tea during an interview and began coughing and foaming at the mouth, according to media reports. He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors said he had suffered a heart attack. Police said the initial examination did not reveal anything ‘suspicious’.”
“’The police say they keep coming up against a wall in their investigation every time someone is found dead’, said Chandresh Bhushan, chairman of the special investigation team that was appointed by the state court to monitor the police probe. ‘We ask them, “Why are so many dying in road accidents in this case? Does this have any link to the scam?” There is no evidence of a link yet, but we cannot overrule it, either’.”
“’There is so much information with the investigators that it could bring the government down,’ said Ashish Chaturvedi, 26, one of the whistleblowers. He has been attacked 14 times by unknown assailants, he said. Six of the assaults took place in front of a police officer assigned by a court to protect him last year.”
“Many of the mysteriously dead are young — either students who paid money and made it into medical schools or job aspirants trying to take tests to become police officers, school teachers, forest rangers and food inspectors.”
“Some of the accused, called ‘racketeers’ in police files, have died from poison. Others died in freak road accidents, or by consuming too much alcohol, or by hanging. One medical college dean died in a fire. A medical student was found dead on railway tracks. The son of the state governor was found dead at his father’s home in March, ostensibly from a brain hemorrhage.”
“Last week, Narendra Singh Tomar, a 29-year-old veterinarian who was in prison on charges of arranging impersonators for medical school applicants, complained of chest pain, police said, and died soon after in a hospital. His family told reporters that they suspected Tomar was murdered.”
“A day later, a 40-year-old assistant professor at a medical college, Rajendra Arya, who was out on bail after being charged in the case, died of a heart attack…”
You could call this a collective scandal of corruption, but many individuals make up that collective, each acting according to his own sense of (lack of) honesty. And you could also say that individuals trying to expose the scandal and get to the bottom of it are paying the ultimate price—as if that were a reason to give up and claim there is no solution, ever.
But there is always a solution in the long run, if it begins with educating individuals about who and what they are—and, more importantly, finding that place in a person where he already knows who he is, beyond the kind of greed and evil exemplified by the corruption described above.
Honesty, integrity, and responsibility exist. Yes they do. In the minds and consciences of individuals.
This has always been true, and it will always be true.
The worst cynic in the world is, in fact, the worst cynic precisely because he understands this. He sees the good. He never loses sight of it. He has it in himself, and he knows others have it, too, no matter how forcefully he denies it.
Genuinely and authentically helping to lift up the individual opens a portal to a world almost everyone would want to live in.
Over the years (and currently), I’ve known people who forwarded projects and enterprises dedicated to this goal. Without exception, they could see past corruption, and in so doing, they projected an energy that exposed the lie of “the human condition” and the doom that would consign human civilization to failure.
They knew there was something else.
We know it, too.
No matter how bad things get, the individual can fashion and create enterprises that rise beyond the common bed of corruption….and beyond the collective.
June 8, 2017
by Jon Rappoport